Count Leopold Kalckreuth (Düsseldorf 1855 – 1928 Eddelsen near Hamburg)

Cloud Study

Black chalk, brushed – 266 mm × 332 mm


  • Gustav Engelbrecht, Hamburg (Lugt 1148)
  • Ratjen Foundation, Vaduz

Son of the painter Stanislaus Kalckreuth, Count Leopold Kalckreuth studied under his father at the Weimar Art School. He subsequently went to Munich and met Franz von Lenbach. Throughout his life he was active as a professor of painting, teaching in Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe.

This study of clouds may have been drawn during a journey around Holland in 1883. Although technically a landscape, the artist's primary interest lies in describing the clouds that dominate the stormy sky. The sheet displays the artist’s graphic virtuosity achieved by varying the textures of the chalk – from parallel hatching for the curtain of rain and patches of tilled field – to more lyrical, arch-shaped outlines of the clouds, some of which have been softened by stumping. The hooded herdsman and his steer anchor the composition and their dark appearance recalls works by Fritz von Uhde, one of Count Kalckreuth's closest friends, while also lending an air of mystery and melancholic sobriety to the scene.